Relieve achy joints and muscles
Cayenne pepper is a potent natural painkiller for achy joints and muscles. Capsaicin, the substance that gives cayenne its spicy taste, is the active ingredient in many over-the-counter treatments for arthritis and muscle pain. A 2014 study review found that the spicy stuff does dial down joint pain from osteoarthritis. And according to the Arthritis Foundation (AF), capsaicin creams also relieve pain from the autoimmune type of arthritis—rheumatoid arthritis—as well as the painful muscle condition fibromyalgia. Over time, the AF reports, these creams over-activate nerve receptors, causing them to not function right and sparing you pain. Try using one of these creams three times a day, but just be sure to wash your hands after handling them and keep them away from your eyes.
Help you lose weight
Fiery foods may fire up your diet. A small study from 2015 found that when subjects ate spicy red pepper with a meal they reported feeling fuller and had fewer food cravings afterward. Earlier research has suggested that chili peppers are natural metabolism boosters.
Unclog a stuffy nose
Capsaicin is a powerful fix for clogged up noses and sinuses. “It thins your mucous to allow for better drainage,” says Tania Elliott, MD, a clinical instructor in medicine at NYU Langone. That can help whether you have a cold or allergies. Sprinkle it on food (it pairs surprisingly well with chicken noodle soup) and grab some tissues. (There are many cayenne pepper benefits that you can reap, but can you handle the world’s hottest pepper?)